by Mike Snow - Orleans Racing
Las Vegas, NV --- (May 27, 2005) – Orleans Racing is pleased to announce the addition of Tony “Rambo” Liberati to the Orleans Racing family. Liberati, with his nearly two decades of NASCAR experience, will lead the crew of the #77 Jasper Engines Dodge for the remainder of the year.
The acquisition comes after a two-race period where Liberati served as interim crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engine Dodge, helping the team to its best two finishes of the year.
“When the deal with Rambo came together originally he was going to be visiting family in Ohio. We were racing at Mansfield, Ohio and since he was going to be around for two races I said 'Hey Rambo, come help me out',” said the driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Dodge, Brendan Gaughan on the initial steps of what turned out to be a great marriage of personalities. “After the chemistry came together so quickly with the guys and with how his attitude matches mine it was an easy decision to look into it further.
After a pair of strong runs with Liberati on the toolbox Gaughan decided to take his feelings to the team to see what they thought of the possibilities of adding Rambo to the team on a fulltime basis.
Explaining the behind the scenes hiring approach Gaughan said, “After the Charlotte race I went and asked the entire Orleans Racing crew. I said ‘Guys I'm having a lot of fun with Rambo. Anybody else want to keep him?' Everyone raised their hands and said they wanted him. It's all about the team; and the guys on the team love him. Him and I on the radio, well it's just been a lot of fun having him around. I'm excited to have him.”
With the team’s blessing Brendan Gaughan brought the consensus to the man who writes the checks, team owner, Michael Gaughan. It didn’t take long for the senior Gaughan and Liberati hammer out a deal.
“[Rambo] met with my father, the real team owner, and they came to an agreement,” said Brendan. Then with a laugh he added, “My dad doesn't let me in on those financial things but I do know he's getting paid more than the driver.”
Asked what was single issue that made him decide to make Las Vegas and Orleans Racing his new home Liberati replied, “I think it had to do with the chemistry -- not just with Brendan but with the guys. We got on the same page right from the start. That meant more to me than anything else going into this. The parts and pieces are all the same but it's the people that make this sport go, and Orleans Racing has a great group of guys to back up first class equipment.”
Liberati added, “I’m looking forward to it. Brendan and I have been friends together a long time. We went to Iraq together and got to be pretty good friends then. We had some good runs together and I want to continue the streak.”
Echoing “Rambo’s” thoughts, Brendan added, “The guys are happy with him, I'm happy with him. We're looking at keep the chemistry going.”